Mozilla Adds NTLM Authentication in 1.4 Beta

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Mozilla has released the newest version of its open-source Web browser project, adding support for NTLM authentication in the 1.4b beta release.

The latest beta, which comes on the heels of a major shift to make Phoenix its standalone default browser, would support communication with Microsoft Web and proxy servers configured to use Windows integrated security, Mozilla announced.

The project, which is being funded by America Online , has also added some nifty upgrades over the 1.3.1 version, including the ability for 1.4b users to specify "blank page," "home page," or "last page visited" for each of first window, new window and new tab.

With the newest beta, Mozilla users also specify default font, size and color for HTML mail compose and the ability to disable or block images via a "view image" button.

The built-in Mozilla Mail client has also been tweaked with CRAM-MD5 and DIGEST-MD5 AUTH support for improved security.

Looking to simplify the downloading of .EXE files, Mozilla has added a "launch file" feature to the new browser beta.

Mozilla also released version 1.3.1, which restores XPI functionality for Mac OS X users. The upgraded Mozilla 1.3.1 has added "junk mail classification" to the integrated e-mail client which let users set up systems to quarantine unwanted mail. Newsgroup filters have also been implemented.

Also new in 1.3.1 is an initial implementation of Mozilla Midas, which offers rich text editing controls and image auto sizing which lets users toggle between full-sized images and images sized to fit the browser window.

The release of the new versions follows a decision by the lizard heads to adopt new monikers for the Phoenix browser (Firebird) and Minotaur (Thunderbird), a move that was roundly booed by the Firebird relational database offering, which was already using the name.

The controversy forced Mozilla to backtrack on renaming the two projects and adopt a new branding strategy that seeks to capitalize on the 'Mozilla' name.

"When referring to Thunderbird or Firebird before or during the 1.4 release cycle, make sure to use the project name with Mozilla pre-pended as 'Mozilla Thunderbird' or 'Mozilla Firebird' instead of Mozilla alone or Firebird/Thunderbird alone," according to the new rules.

After the final release of version 1.4, the group will effectively drop the Firebird and Thunderbird codenames, asking that the monikers 'Mozilla Browser' and 'Mozilla Mail' be used to describe those projects.

"Project names are transitory. As long as we have both a mail and browser project, we should be using the Mozilla brand and reinforcing it whenever we get the chance," it said.

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